Two key activities took place in the Cambodian KfW-funded ‘Vouchers for Reproductive Health Program’. The first, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, took place at the end of May and included representatives from voucher projects and their implementing agencies from Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as well as representatives from KfW and USAID, two major financial supporters of vouchers schemes.
Meeting activities focused on assessing policy relevance of vouchers, reviewing project progress and sourcing key issues for strategic planning of upcoming interventions in different voucher projects. The TAC meeting included a visit to two health centres (private and public) benefiting from voucher schemes and a visit to a village meeting where community members participate in the identification of poor people eligible for voucher support. Shared project evidence and experiences guided the TAC strategic discussions to focus on best-practices and challenges facing voucher projects worldwide.
The second activity was a training workshop, organized by the project’s Voucher Management Agency and local partner Action for Health, at the end of May which culminated in the awarding of certificates for appreciation and for excellence. This project workshop served as a preparation of the project’s phase two.
“Despite significant progress made in program implementation, especially during the 4 last quarters of the project,” according to project team leader Dr. Marcel Reyners, “there are still many challenges that need to be addressed such as the distribution of vouchers and the use by the beneficiaries, the abuse and/or misuse of vouchers by providers, the quality of the services, some financial issues such as the timely release of budgets, the complexity of procedures to be followed, monitoring and, finally, clients' perception on vouchers.”
In the workshop, deputy team leader Dr. Sieng Rithy, presented how to perform a SWOT analysis, how to detect the root cause of problems and how to find the appropriate solutions. Participants worked in groups to identify the bottlenecks and presented solutions.